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[Updated 3/19] First time restoring a Blast City

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namstephan View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 March 2017 at 8:49am
First thing's first, the subject is deceiving - This is actually my first time restoring any candy cab, period. The closest thing resembling this was when I deep cleaned my PC ten years ago.

Through the power of knowledge obtained from numerous Blast City restoration success stories I've read here as well as online, I felt confident when I agreed to bring this guy home. I was told that the monitor no longer works, but everything else is. Sadly without the monitor I couldn't get much checking done prior to picking it up from my local arcade, I figure worse comes to worst it would require a new monitor + chassis, though let's hope it doesn't come to that  :lol:


I have been searching for easily one year on Craigslist, eBay as well as online vendors for a candy cab. Locally I honestly could not find any available. There are arcade vendors, but rather than selling first party cabs, their business is on creating made-to-order mame machines. Highway Entertainment occasionally puts an Astro/New  Astro/Blast on sale but the freight cost often blows the top of my budget. Therefore even though this Blast City has not been well taken care of, and doesn't even come with any games, I'm determined to bring it home and treat it the way it's meant to be treated.



Quite the dust collector here.


I removed the CP + casing to allow it to fit in my van, 101Kg was no joke so I was glad the drive was a short one.


As I posted in the introduction thread, with the CP casing removed I've cut the depth of the machine to just under 76cm, allowing it to squeeze through the apartment door.


Looked inside to discover CASH!


The supposedly problematic monitor. I have not gone all over the place to find replacement tube or chassis at this moment, because I've read many stories where "dead" monitors or PSUs miraculously came back alive after proper cleaning, so I will do that before any diagnosis.


From the looks of it, this guy is equipped with the basic JAMMA loom (600-6738-21):


Some bad wiring work, one of which seems to have branched out as a power cable?!


The good part is that from what I've seen so far, everything inside is stock and untampered aside from the JAMMA loom. It even came with two coin mechs, one plastic and one metal:


That's all for now, I have more pics to post tomorrow. Right now my body is going into a shutdown from exhaustion, as I have also started cleaning the smaller parts.

I also have several questions as to the wiring. Cheers Beer


Edited by namstephan - 19 March 2017 at 11:45am
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Davey D View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davey D Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2017 at 9:34am
With both of my Astro City cabs i stripped everything from inside, split them in half and then took them outside to clean inside and out with a strong kitchen cleaning spray, a brush, and hose pipe for lots of water
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namstephan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2017 at 9:54am
Originally posted by Davey D Davey D wrote:

With both of my Astro City cabs i stripped everything from inside, split them in half and then took them outside to clean inside and out with a strong kitchen cleaning spray, a brush, and hose pipe for lots of water

That's my plan as well, I won't feel completely clean with just wiping with detergents, there has to be a flush. Only thing is I live in an apartment so I'll have to try to bring the halves down to the car wash area to wash/hose down.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namstephan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 March 2017 at 8:58am
Looks like it has not been repainted which I feel glad about. I don't have the skills to do any repainting so I just wanted to preserve the original coat.

Side art stickers are badly scratched, anybody know where I can order replacements  :( 

Stock PSU

Not looking forward to this particular part..

Loosened screws, bolts and nuts jump straight to the detergent pool, extra nasty on the greasy ones securing the rear wheels.

Marquee light is burnt, by the way what is the small twist bulb looking thing in the middle of the light tube frame (right side in the image below)? Do I need to replace that as well?

Lining up the floor for some twisting and laying of the body

Are y'all ready for some super subtle before/after comparisons?

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER


Gonna clean that CP next, this should be good..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Neo Bliss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 March 2017 at 1:59pm
Nice job so far getting the cab cleaned out.

For the marquee lighting, the little black bulb is the starter. You'll probably need to replace that as well. I would order one just in case. Nothing more frustrating than ordering a tube, waiting for it to arrive, turning on the cab only to discover you've got to hit the web again to order a starter and wait some more.

Have fun!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namstephan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 March 2017 at 3:15am
Originally posted by Neo Bliss Neo Bliss wrote:

Nice job so far getting the cab cleaned out.

For the marquee lighting, the little black bulb is the starter. You'll probably need to replace that as well. I would order one just in case. Nothing more frustrating than ordering a tube, waiting for it to arrive, turning on the cab only to discover you've got to hit the web again to order a starter and wait some more.

Have fun!!

Thanks! That is true, I wouldn't mind having a backup even if the existing starter works. Good call.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namstephan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 March 2017 at 3:17am
Only had time to do the bottom tray for CP tonight, I'm gonna enjoy this


These are taken more for my own reference, wouldn't want to misplace anything when putting everything back together.

And one application of detergent plus two for Simple Green later:


Sadly there's still gum on the bottom, I don't understand people sometimes..
Will use Goo Gone for this.

Also washed the coin mechs

New start + 1P buttons + ball tops arrived today! But Canadian joystick ran out of 2P pink buttons so still need to wait for the other vendor's package
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namstephan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 March 2017 at 9:49am
Slacked one night for obvious reasons :P


Started this evening with a lot of circular motion cleaning of the old gum with Goo Gone, on the bottom of CP casing:


Now that the bottom case is ready, I screwed the locking parts back in.


Worked on the upper part of the CP casing as well as the CP itself tonight, supposed to be short and sweet but turned into hours of work due to burred screws and overly tightened ball top on the 2P side  :( 


Obviously someone had spilled a soda on it at one point, sticky surfaces and gooey screws are proof.

Also, after 2 washes with Simple Green, then Goo Gone for the old tape marks, I find what seems to be rust/cigarette stains around the coin slot as well as some cracks. The cracks aren't deep enough to post any hazard at the moment, but I wanted to fill them with some filler and smoothen it.


Thankfully the CP metal plate itself does not suffer from too much rust.

I bought new buttons, the sticks installed feel quite crisp still so no need for new ones for now. Although the wiring (though organized) on the buttons is sketchy, just check out the wires for buttons 3 and 4. I see a kick harness but have yet to study the loom itself to trace each wire. I'm probably going to need to buy a new 2P14B control loom.


Instructions glass plate and the sheet are in surprisingly good condition, just dipped in dried soda as well.


Questions:

1) Which filler material should I use to repair the CP casing cracks? What about the cracks in the body?

Shopping list so far:

1) 2P14B control harness
2) Audio cable to connect RCA L/R to Blast City's I/O side board
3) Capcom I/O board (For Naomi)
4) Taito arcade stool (felt cover)
5) Sega -001 loom
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namstephan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 March 2017 at 9:50am
Just as good of a time as any to do some dirty work - Clearing the dust off the monitor + chassis

My research taught me to be more prepared than wearing a pair of rubber gloves, so I DIY'd this tool to discharge the monitor.

Now to do the deed. I didn't know compressed air was that expensive (~$15 Canadian).

It works wonders though, one puff:

and bam:

30 minutes and 4/5 of the canned air later

I can finally see what's underneath the thick coat of dust!

Also cleaned the rest of the body, especially the floor board:

Took out the side panel for a quick wipe:

I think we're ready to see just how "not working" the monitor is, first I powered on without any video source.

So the screen does light up, not a bad start. So I checked the dip switches on the display panel in attempt to confirm my initial theory: That the arcade sold this cab prematurely after turning it on and not seeing a picture, without confirm the dip switch settings first.

I don't have any jamma boards in hand, in fact I don't have any arcade game or motherboard yet.. though I do have my trusty Dreamcast. Plugged that in to the VGA input on the side of the monitor, turned on and I saw this:

Something displayed! But it's extremely out of sync, definitely not something that can be fixed by tweaking v-pos and h-pos. Also the image was jumping and flickering like crazy. While I looked up the reference guide to the display dip switches, the image stabilized:

Dip settings were DOWN DOWN DOWN

I tried switching them to DOWN DOWN UP, which supposedly limits input signal to D-sub @ 31khz, no dice:

Out of ideas I started trying out random combinations, because I was starting to suspect that the problem does not lie on the monitor or chassis, but the display panel itself.

HOWEVER, my first random guess UP UP UP won me the jackpot:

I had no idea! Tweaked the position and size, and the screen is now properly filled. I'm so glad I don't have to worry about spend extra $$$ to get this thing running, the worst part is actually trying to hunt down a replacement.

Colour is funny on the upper left corner, but I can live with that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seanr28 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 March 2017 at 10:15am
colour is funny, because you need to degaus it
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namstephan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2017 at 11:59pm
Originally posted by seanr28 seanr28 wrote:

colour is funny, because you need to degaus it

Thanks seanr28, gonna press that convenient degauss button the next time I fire up the cab. Right now I'm almost done with the cleaning.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namstephan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 March 2017 at 3:53am
Cleaned the PSU the other day, I must say for a seemingly pretty sealed up box, there is more dust and dirt inside than anywhere else in the cab when I found it..


Burred screws are always fun..

Soooo dusty..

Much better! It runs a lot quieter as well. I was going to swap out the fan but looks like I can bare with it now.

Shiny legs

Shiny metal plate

One of my many orders arrived - Gundam vs Gundam for System 256. I don't even have the motherboard but just acted when I saw a good price.

Out with the old and in with the new balltops and buttons!

Also bought myself a plastic coin slot. Nothing wrong with the original metal one, it's a personal choice.

I have finally experienced the black magic that is the magic eraser. You guys aren't kidding with how effective it is. I was cleaning out what I thought were paint scratches left and right, the end result was my cabinet was in a much better shape than I originally perceived.



Greased up the old wheels.


And hey! Naomi board arrived today. Waiting on power harness though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dramanew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 March 2017 at 7:06am
nice work, great to watch the progress!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namstephan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2017 at 11:44am
Originally posted by dramanew dramanew wrote:

nice work, great to watch the progress!


Thanks man, it's been a tremendous learning process.. I can't believe I've been calling myself a gamer all these years without any of this knowledge. I have been spoiled by the home consoles.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namstephan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2017 at 11:45am
It's been a few days, the hardest few days if you ask me because I'm patiently waiting for the games and parts I've ordered over the weeks.

First my "unknown condition" Virtua Fighter 1 board game in, without much research done on running model 1 on Blast City, I'm pretty helpless with it right now..


Then I got myself a nice keychain to go with the cab key :)

Put back together the CP the other day, put in new zip ties

Also learned how the mechanics for these coin things work, I have always wondered as a kid, and now I do. Also found that of the two coin mechs I received with the cab, one only takes Canadian quarters and the other only takes tokens (it has a magnet that stops quarters from falling).

My arms are sore now because I've put back the cleaned up monitor onto the body. Ran a quick Dreamcast display test just to make sure I didn't break anything during the cleaning.

Time to press that demag button, the results are not apparent in the photo but very much so in person. Very happy with the colors right now. Spotted some light burn-ins on top (some sort of score display from a game I can't tell) but I'll give it a break. After all the thing is over 20 years old!

Great news is I finally got hold of a 001 loom, once it (and the Sega I/O board) arrives I can hook up the Naomi for a first spin of the restored cab. Very excited and in the mean time, telling myself to stop hunting for games as I have already purchased quite a few.
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